PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Pakatan Harapan will oppose any attempt to disrupt the royal address during the Parliament meeting on May 18, said Parti Keadilan Rakyat president Anwar Ibrahim.
Datuk Seri Anwar, who is also the opposition leader, said all MPs, regardless of party, must respect the King's opening address.
He also said the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government should not use the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse to restrict debates in the May 18 meeting as preventive measures had already been completed by Parliament staff.
"Congratulations to the efficient Parliament staff. It isn't easy to rearrange (the seats). If it's already completed, then there should be proceedings. We feel proceedings should go on," he said in a Facebook Live rally on Thursday (May 14).
Mr Anwar also said government measures in addressing the Covid-19 economic fallout should be people-centric rather than focusing on bailing out airlines, big companies and conglomerates.
"These companies have billions, and we can give space for debts. Before this, they made billions through the years, and with just three months of deficit, they want government assistance.
"This is different from the people. The people must be prioritised. This is different from the struggles of the people at the lower level. This is a principle that we will never compromise on, " he said.
Mr Anwar also took aim at PN for not allowing debates during the one-day May 18 meeting.
He alleged the debates were being disallowed because there was a high chance that the PN government wasn't confident it would be able to acquire a majority in Parliament amidst horse-trading behind the scenes.
"Some of the present MPs, some of them wanted positions in ministries or GLCs. If they don't get it, they jump. So, in the end, the world of politics is just like a frog's, rather than (being about) values and principles.
"I hope in the coming general election, voters will take note of this. Vote for someone who has principles and idealism. Don't (vote) for those who horse-trade, " he said.
Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu also criticised the decision not to allow debates on May 18. He said this was a reflection of the PN government's anger over the no-confidence motion that was mooted.
Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad also said the decision did not fulfil the rules of a meeting in the lower house of Parliament known as Dewan Rakyat.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof had said the May 18 meeting would feature only the opening address by the King, with no other business to be attended to.
The May 18 meeting, the first held since the fall of the PH government in March, will be heavily watched.